Molly Bendall

Two Poems

In the Era of Efforts


The millionth one under suspicion.   Pressed it with my heel anyway.   Her pins in a row—no legs, no flight. Held them tight between her lips.   We had ferried over, so goes the version.   I had lessons coming, for weeks. Made my rounds in the house.   Dye left in a bowl and the smearing that held fast.   My palms revealed the hunted. Everyone mentioned the smearing.    A thread down her calf and my feet anchored to the floor.   Let’s not be so fast to forego the comfort.   Like gasoline leaking from a cuff.   Now the numb side of my face showed nicely.   After all, the puffs had disappeared.   The iron arm of the up and down.   Most pins had their spaces.   When it flattens out they sting more.   Deliveries came with the breakwater.   Wasn’t I elbowed when she left? Jarring to think so.   Engineered for tasks like that.   What’s Saturday without it? An outcome of the dirty trip up North.   So much wedged in the tote.   Her hair loose at the shoulder, sometimes idling.




Whose Secrecy Lapsed


No world outside.   The radio blaring behind the door. So sulk with summer.   Not that I’d forget.   To check on the morning nerves.   Her signal from the window. Like a mood that needs to unwind.   Then empty.   Preferring synthetics to security.   Burned through to the other room. I’d transfigure myself into a table or chest.   The more possible it became.   Might seem commonplace.   To bank all we made.   To walk outside while it’s still habitable. Didn’t have it in me in the end.   Not native like the purple clover.   She retained her plastic silhouette.   Good to know the race had started.   More static, grew louder through the transom.   Flecks on the tile.   Soon the city turned around on her, insulting without saying out loud.   If it weren’t for thunder or the miracle.   She’d offer her ears.   She wiped the thicket clean. Kept trying to lay her coat down.   I wouldn’t stay.   Without cloth for protection.   Pushing forward.   The door gleamed like scissors.